Protesters against judicial reform block MK’s autistic child from leaving home

“I already heard from her caregivers that her condition has deteriorated because of this demonstration. It shook her routine and sense of security,” the mother said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

When protesters against the government’s plan for a judicial overhaul tried preventing coalition lawmakers from attending a Knesset vote on the amendments Monday morning, one of their targets was Likud MK Tali Gottlieb. As a result, her special-needs child was traumatized.

“I opened the door at 6:10 a.m., and I live in an apartment house, not some villa that has a fence where demonstrators can protest as they wish,” Gottlieb, a single mother who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givat Shmuel, told Ynet Radio.

“The anarchists sat at my door, when I took out the garbage in my nightgown. I closed the door and called the police, and then asked them to be quiet because I have a low-functioning autistic daughter.”

According to Gottleib, they told her, “You can take a vacation day in order to stop the judicial revolution,” and  “Find someone else to take the girl, because you’re staying at home today, ma’am.”

“Thank God, my daughter is now at her daycare. I already heard from her caregivers that her condition has deteriorated as a result of this demonstration, it shook her routine and sense of security,” the MK said.

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“In the name of what kind of democracy do you do such a thing to a public figure?” she asked in outrage. “Protest as much as you want, but don’t come into my territory….and violate my privacy in this way and threaten me with false imprisonment.”

When the interviewer asked if she had been frightened, she responded, “Of course. Wouldn’t you be in such a situation?”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, who is leading the charge against the judicial reform and also has an autistic daughter, assailed those who participated in the incident.

“I strongly condemn the siege on the home of MK Tali Gottlieb, the mother of a child with special needs, and the fact that she was not allowed to take the child out,” he said. “This is not our way. This is not a way of protest. Sending Tali encouragement and her daughter a hug.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added his condemnation.

“When protesters prevent public representatives from coming and voting in the Knesset, and make an autistic girl miserable, this is not a legitimate protest. The protesters who talk about democracy are the ones who bring about the end of democracy when they prevent public representatives from exercising the fundamental right in democracy – to vote,” he said, calling on police to enable the lawmakers to reach their destination.